Sarnen, Staatsarchiv Obwalden
The "White Book of Sarnen" was assembled by the Obwalden Chancellery Clerk Hans Schriber (1436-1478). It is called the “White Book” because it was originally bound in a white pigskin cover. It contains copies of privileges, alliances, and important decisions by the courts of arbitration and the Landesgemeinden beginning in 1316, and was written for the most part in the years 1470/1471. It is the most important cartulary from the Obwalden Chancellery during the late Middle Ages and, as such, is still part of the city archives today. However, this book is famous above all because it contains the oldest version of the story of the founding of the Swiss Confederation on a mere 25 pages (pp. 441–465). The volume also includes the story of William Tell and the famous shooting of the apple: (“Weisses Buch”, p. 447: Nu was der Tall gar ein güt Schütz er hat oüch hübsche kind die beschigt der herre zü imm / vnd twang den Tallen mit sinen knechten / das der Tall eim sim kind ein öpfel ab dem höupt müst schiessen …).
Online Since: 03/22/2012